This morning I had mixed feelings over reading about Becca Wann’s decision to withdraw from playing soccer.
As reported this morning in the online Richmond-Times Dispatch, the University of Richmond senior is a star player:
She played last fall on the U.S. Women’s National team that won the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Japan. She is second all-time at UR in goals (34) and fourth in points (55).” But stardom is no match for at least four career concussions and she has bravely-and smartly-thrown in the towel on her soccer career. She plans to go on to continue in college basketball.
Of note is the fact that this latest injury was not very dramatic, apparently not even noted by her trainer or bystanders. But Wann knew.
She said she did not immediately report the injury to UR’s sports medicine staff. “But as the week went on, the symptoms didn’t get any better. That’s when I told the trainer.”
Such a scenario is often the case with strong athletes. As it turns out, there is a cumulative effect of “sub-concussive” blows to the head and body. Sometimes enough is enough and the symptoms will far outweigh any experienced previously. This is the time when it is smart to recognize the serious potential long-term consequences to the brain and one’s life. Leaving the team at any level of play is a difficult decision but one that should be applauded. Her courage should be an example to all NCAA players and others who often have to make this choice against a great deal of pressure.
Best of luck to Becca Wann as she moves on to different and hopefully healthier activities!